Long-term warming and environmental change trends persist in the Arctic in 2013
According to a new report released today by NOAA and its partners, cooler temperatures in the summer of 2013 across the central Arctic Ocean, Greenland and northern Canada moderated the record sea ice loss and extensive melting that the surface of the Greenland ice sheet experienced last year. Yet there continued to be regional extremes, including record low May snow cover in Eurasia and record high summer temperatures in Alaska.
“The Arctic caught a bit of a break in 2013 from the recent string of record-breaking warmth and ice melt of the last decade,” said David M. Kennedy, NOAA’s deputy under secretary for operations, during a press briefing today at the American Geophysical Union annual meeting in San Francisco. “But the relatively cool year in some parts of the Arctic does little to offset the long-term trend of the last 30 years: the Arctic is warming rapidly, becoming greener and experiencing a variety of changes, affecting people, the physical environment, and marine and land ecosystems.”
Kennedy joined other scientists to release the Arctic Report Card 2013, which has, since 2006, summarized changing conditions in the Arctic. One hundred forty-seven authors from 14 countries contributed to the peer-reviewed report.
What if all the ice melted?
The ocean holds most of Earth’s water. After that, it’s ice. 5.7 million cubic miles of the stuff.
What if, thanks to natural and man-made climate change, it all melted? What if, by burning enough deep-Earth carbon (dead dinosaurs, prehistoric plants, or as we call it… fossil fuels) we raised Earth’s average temperature to around 80˚ F?
Thanks to National Geographic we know: This is is what 216 feet (66 meters) of sea level change looks like.
US Renewable Energy Tops Record in 2012
Americans produced a record amount of solar and wind energy in 2012, and will likely continue doing so this year with government tax incentives and technological advancements in renewable energy.
High five, America.
From the Chasing Ice website:
In the spring of 2005, acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment for National Geographic: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth’s changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change. But that first trip north opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history and sparked a challenge within him that would put his career and his very well-being at risk.
Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, the photographer conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.
As the debate polarizes America and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, Balog finds himself at the end of his tether. Battling untested technology in subzero conditions, he comes face to face with his own mortality. It takes years for Balog to see the fruits of his labor. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Chasing Ice depicts a photographer trying to deliver evidence and hope to our carbon-powered planet.
This documentary looks incredible. Has anyone seen it?
A new study suggests record warming is in store for us: By observing several indirect temperature indicators, researchers looking at weather patterns since the end of the last Ice Age are predicting that average surface temperatures will be at their highest point in human experience by the end of this century.
Photo: John McConnico / Associated Press
oceanportal: Ocean Acidification
Ocean acidification is happening before our eyes! Scientists have long known that sea snail shells dissolve in more acidic seawater from lab experiments. But now shells have already begun dissolving from acidification in the Southern Ocean!
(photo: Courtesy of David Littschwager/National Geo. Soc.)
This might be the best video describing Arctic ice melt I’ve ever seen. It is also the scariest. The Arctic is the Earth’s air conditioner. It helps regulate temperatures around the globe in a variety of ways. Most importantly, the Arctic provides stability. Once the ice is melted, the system blows up and gets all out of wack. It impacts everything from fisheries to weather to coastal infrastructure to animal habitat. Click here to read an easy summary by WaPo for more reasons why this matters.
I’ve seen, heard, read, viewed, participated, and debated dozens and dozens of aspects of climate change. This one, this video, is one of the best explainers of how much trouble the Earth is in.
…produced by independent videographer Peter Sinclair for The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media explains what expert scientists now find to be the lowest extent of Arctic sea ice in recorded history.
Ocean Temps Reach Record Highs in Northeast
During the first six months of 2012, sea surface temperatures in the Northeast Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem were the highest ever recorded, according to the latest Ecosystem Advisory issued by NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC). Above-average temperatures were found in all parts of the ecosystem, from the ocean bottom to the sea surface and across the region, and the above average temperatures extended beyond the shelf break front to the Gulf Stream.
The annual 2012 spring plankton bloom was intense, started earlier and lasted longer than average. This has implications for marine life from the smallest creatures to the largest marine mammals like whales. Atlantic cod continued to shift northeastward from its historic distribution center.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2012/09/ocean-temps-reach-record-highs-northeast
Canada set to announce Kyoto pullout
Environment Minister Peter Kent is expected to announce Monday that Canada is formally withdrawing from the Kyoto accord. The decision to do so will save the government an estimated $7 billion in financial penalties. The Conservative government says it has no choice given the economic situation.
Environment Minister Peter Kent is expected to announce Monday that Canada is formally withdrawing from the Kyoto accord.
The decision to do so will save the government an estimated $7 billion in financial penalties. The Conservative government says it has no choice given the economic situation.
Climate Change and Extreme Weather
Climate change increases the risk of record-breaking extreme weather events that threaten communities across the country. In 2011, there were at least 2,941 monthly weather records broken by extreme events that struck communities in the US.
Want to do something about it? Send a message to Congress, asking them to uphold the Clean Air Act and clean up the carbon pollution that drives climate change.
Climate change episode of Frozen Planet won't be shown in the U.S. as viewers don't believe in global warming
An episode of the BBC’s Frozen Planet documentary series that looks at climate change has been scrapped in the U.S., where many are hostile to the idea of global warming.
British viewers will see all seven episodes of the multi-million-pound nature series throughout the Autumn.
But U.S. audiences will not be shown the last episode, which looks at the threat posed by man to the natural world.
It is feared a show that preaches global warming could upset viewers in the U.S., where around half of people do not believe in climate change.
Strange… according to a recent Stanford University/Reuters/Ipsos poll, approximately 83% of Americans believe that climate change and global warming are happening right now. 71% of these people believe that global warming is at least in part the fault of human civilization. Only 15% of adults surveyed believe that global warming is not currently occurring. These skeptics are yet only 53% certain of their belief.
The fact that this program is supposedly not being shown because it will be too “controversial” for American audiences smells fishy to me.
Environmental Group Breaks the Silence on Population Control
Major American environmental groups have dodged the subject of population control for decades, wary of getting caught up in the bruising politics of reproductive health.
Yet, virtually alone, the Center for Biological Diversity is breaking the taboo by directly tying population growth to environmental problems through efforts like giving away condoms in colorful packages depicting endangered animals. The idea is to start a debate about how overpopulation crowds out species and hastens climate change — just when the world is welcoming Baby No. 7 Billion.
A new climate study shows that since the mid-1950s, global average temperatures over land have risen by 0.9 degrees Celsius (1.6 degrees Fahrenheit), confirming previous studies that have found a climate that has been warming – in fits and starts – since around 1900.
Image: Ice chunks float in the Arctic Ocean as the sun sets near Barrow, Alaska. (Beth Ipsen / AP)